Mississippi Unemployment Eligibility Information

Mississippi Unemployment Insurance Eligibility

A petitioner for benefits must first meet unemployment insurance eligibility in Mississippi before attempting to file a claim. Both initial MS eligibility for unemployment and eligibility after an applicant has been approved into the aid program are determined by regulations set forth by the state and federal government. Eligibility rules involve how you were separated from your work, your ability to work, your availability to work, your continued looking for work, and your willingness to accept a job for which you are reasonably qualified.

If you have asked “What are the requirements to get unemployment?” please see the following sections:

•    Separation from work unemployment guidelines in Mississippi
•    Eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits in Mississippi
•    Monetary requirements for unemployment in Mississippi

Separation from Work Unemployment Guidelines in Mississippi

Qualifications for unemployment in Mississippi are first defined by how the applicant became separated from his or her job. If the claimant can show he or she left work for “good cause,” he or she may still be eligible for unemployment benefits. The burden of proof in these situations is on the former employee to prove the good cause for voluntarily leaving a job. The courts have generally maintained that claimants meet eligibility for unemployment if the separation was a result of work-related or other conditions that would lead to the average worker giving up employment status.

Examples of good cause would be: if sufficient evidence shows that continuing in the employment would be a detriment to the welfare of the individual or the individual’s underage dependents due to domestic violence; another would be leaving an employer to accompany a spouse who is on active military duty, and has been reassigned from one military assignment to another. These are the only conditions under which an unemployment insurance applicant can quit his or her job and still be eligible for benefits. Furthermore, if the applicant was fired for misconduct or other behavior unbecoming of an employee, he or she will be denied unemployment benefits.

Eligibility Requirements for Unemployment Benefits in Mississippi

Mississippi eligibility for EDD is contingent upon the former employee being able to work. A claimant must also be available for work, meaning that he or she must remain in the labor market, must make a reasonable effort to secure work, and must be willing to accept suitable work when it is offered. If the applicant refuses the offer of work, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) must determine whether the unemployment claimant had good cause in doing so. In making this determination, MDES will consider the degree of risk involved to the individual’s health, safety, and morals, their physical fitness and prior training, their earnings and prior experience, the length of unemployment and prospects for securing local work in their customary occupation, and the distance of the available work from their residence.

When the UI petitioner is actively receiving unemployment benefits, he or she the will be periodically scheduled to report to their local WIN Job Center for an Eligibility Review. They will have received a written notification in advance of the Eligibility Review appointment informing them of the date and time they are to report. The claimant should complete the questions provided on the appointment notice before reporting to the WIN Job Center for the interview.

Regarding Mississippi qualifications for unemployment, if the UI petitioner is working for an employer less than full time because of lack of work and their earnings are less than their weekly benefit amount (see next section) plus $40, they may be eligible for benefits.

Monetary Requirements for Unemployment in Mississippi

Candidates who do not know how to qualify for unemployment in Mississippi must also understand that receiving aid is based on the claimant qualifying monetarily. To qualify monetarily, the applicant must have earned wages in insured work during the “base period,” which is composed of the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the effective date of the claim. The unemployment insurance coverage candidate’s earnings must be equal to 40 times his or her own weekly benefit amount, and the applicant must have been paid wages in insured working during at least two quarters of the base period. In addition the petitioner claiming benefits for unemployment cannot have earned less than $780 in at least one base period quarter. A “benefit year” is established for a period of 52 weeks beginning with the “effective date” of the claim.


Who qualifies for unemployment?


The following example determines if an applicant qualifies for unemployment insurance coverage in MS. The applicant worked for two employers during the year. Employer 1 reports wages of $11,000 for each of the second and third quarters of 2014. Employer 2 reports wages of $11,500 for the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015. Total base period wages are $45,000. The claimant satisfies the two requirements of base-period wages of at least $780 in one quarter and wages in at least two quarters. The weekly unemployment benefit amount can be solved by dividing the total wages in the highest quarter ($11,500) by 26 which equals $442.31.

The maximum weekly unemployment benefit amount per MS law is $235 which then becomes the claimant’s weekly benefit amount. The maximum benefit amount allowable is 26 times the weekly benefit amount or 1/3 of the total base-period wages whichever is less, 26 x $235 = $6100, $45,000 divided by three = $15,000. The claimant’s maximum benefit amount is $6100. Finally, it must be determined if the individual has earned at least 40 times the weekly benefit amount. 40 x $235 = $9400. In this example, the applicant qualifies monetarily and will be issued a Monetary Determination advising the beginning and ending dates of the benefit year, the weekly benefit amount, the maximum benefit amount, and the quarterly wages paid by each base-period employer.


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